School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Objective: To determine if a single neurologist can lead neurology PBL for an entire medical school class and assess the effect of a neurologist assisting in facilitating during neurology module problem-based learning on student perception of knowledge gained.

Background: Problem-based learning (PBL) groups are widely becoming integrated into medical school curriculum. During each module, clinicians from the specialty area of study help conduct PBL and facilitate students through cases. For example, during the neurology module, neurologist facilitate cases pertaining to their study. At the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), there is a shortage of neurologists and it is not possible to have one neurologist lead multiple groups at once. Neurology PBL groups are therefore facilitated by non-physicians. The neurologist serves a few functions: 1) to create a written facilitator guide, 2) to open PBL to the entire class before splitting into small groups, 3) to make rounds during PBL sessions to ensure groups are on track and answer any questions, and 4) to serve as lead teacher during wrap-up of the PBL.

Design/Methods: Using module surveys administered by UTRGV, we will compare student perception of PBL. Perceptions will be quantified by how they rated PBL. Data from previous modules will be used to compare surveys from the current neurology module.

Results: Feedback from last year’s PBL session showed that 68.00% of students agree that neurology PBL was a useful way to learn about basic science and its application to patient care and clinical practice. Preliminary feedback from this year’s class indicates greater satisfaction with PBL than last year, where there was no neurologist involved, and formal feedback is in progress.

Conclusions: Neurology PBL for an entire medical school class with a single neurologist is feasible, and appears effective based on preliminary feedback. We are awaiting formal feedback.


© 2020, American Academy of Neurology. Original published version available at

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Academic Level


Mentor/PI Department




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